Reeeeeeeeeee69 here with a particularly spicy thread topic. Attached below, you will find multiple deck lists which, in my opinion from at least 25+ games of playtesting per list, has (1) a favored matchup vs. one of the top 2 wanderer archetypes (rag or reva) and (2) pulls at least even with the other top deck (reva or rag) OR is heavily favored against the less popular generals (zirix, brome, lilithe, kara, faie). Note that this list is not exhaustive, and only includes lists I have played personally which meet the above criteria.
My hope is not to create another hate thread, but rather a launchpad which gives players young and old the tools to counter this meta monolith, as well as initiating a renaissance in deckbuilding diversity. Feel free to voice your thoughts below.
Without further ado:
Rough tier estimate- tier 2.
Matchups: Reva - even, Ragnora - favored, lilithe - favored, brome - favored
Comments: Average list, above average meta choice. Also boasts a favored matchup against most fault decks. Be wary of overcommiting board (vs rag) or artifacts (any list with emp), and victory is likely. Deck has by far the best winrate of anything I’ve played vs flash wanderer, going 11-3 in the past two seasons. A poor laddering choice if ziran and aggro reva are common.
Rough tier estimate- tier 1
Matchups: Reva - favored, Ragnora - favored, lilithe - even, brome - even
Comments: Minmaxer must be turning in his grave over the lack of attention this deck gets. Boasting cheap tempo plays for the wanderer turn and more than enough sustain to burn all but the most dedicated of heal to ash, aggro cass remains a potent ladder threat. Dark seed and blaze hound are remarkably powerful with all the trial decks running amok.
Aggro Reva (credit: Alphacentury)
Rough tier estimate: tier 1
Matchups: Reva - favored, ragnora - even/favored, zirix - favored, brome - unfavored, lilithe - favored
Comments: The brainchild of the late grandmaster Alphacentury, aggro reva is perhaps the best all-around laddering choice at the moment. Damage ceiling is incredible. Be sure to hold jux and position in a way to render wanderer turns swing turns, as a swing plays of this caliber often win the game.
Rough Tier estimate: tier 1.5/2
Match ups: Rag - favored, Reva - even, Lilithe - heavily favored, others - not enough data
Comments: My iteration of the archetype popularized by eurasianjay and crankypanda during the great Vaath War. Legend has it whenever a ping-poor deck climbs to the top, so too shall this list rise to meet it. Buffs to mask of shadows make flicker and mistwalking worth running. Be wary, though player 2 highrolls are sure to net a handful of wins, this deck is extremely unforgiving of misplays and features what may be the most grueling learning curve of any current deck.
Aggro Zirix (shell credit to Minmaxer)
Rough tier estimate: tier 1/1.5
Matchups: Reva - favored, ragnora - even/favored, zirix - even/unfavored, brome - favored, lilithe - favored
Comments: Yet another Minmaxer gem left to obscurity. Deck was designed to tear through midrange, something it continues to deliver on despite nerfs to falcius. Mastering use of sandswirl reader is the key to approaching this deck’s ceiling.
Rough tier estimate: tier 1
Matchups: Reva - favored, ragnora - favored, zirix - favored, brome - unfavored, lilithe - heavily favored
Comments: Probably biased with this deck due to how much time I’ve spent with it, but heal ziran remains a gold-standard deck for any occasion. Sunrise paragon shores up the previous weakness to large bodies (wanderer, visionar, etc) while providing possible heal targets for your own minions.
V. Closing thoughts and bullets:
Common deck themes which improve wanderer matchups:
- cheap removal cards which turn wanderer turns into swing turns
- damage-heavy decks capitalize on inconsistent healing
- Artifacts capitalize on inconsistent ping (attack boosts greater than 1 prevent GF ripper combos)
- backline threats capitalize on inconsistent removal (ex. sunforge lancer vs songhai, etc)
- 2-3x sunset paragon is a solid quick fix for decks which particularly struggle vs wanderer
- when piloting vs wanderer, 8/10 you will have to be the aggressor. Play accordingly.
- That said, be aware that playing aggressively does NOT mean you can ignore board with impunity. Knowing when to develop and when to trade in is the key to mastering this match up (and the entire game, for that matter)
- Minmaxer is sorely missed
- meta is far from solved
- wanderer may be overtuned for certain generals due to bbs and ramp, but can be teched for and beaten like any other top deck.